DAGUPAN CITY – It was another blockbuster edition of Kalutan ed Dalan, the main highlight of the annual Bangus Festival.
After it was shelved for two years due to the pandemic, the Kalutan ed Dalan returned and brought forth a series of activities to make the Bangus Festival as unforgettable as it has always been.
On a night to remember on Saturday, April 30, thousands of city folks, residents from neighboring towns, as well as local and foreign tourists alike, joined the street party and enjoyed food and live music.
No less than vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte graced the occasion as she lit the grill pads signaling the start of the event at around 4 p.m. on Saturday.
As in past editions, hundreds of grill pads were set up and about 4,500 kilos of bangus (milkfish) were grilled along the streets of the city’s business district.
For the people of Dagupan, Kalutan is a way of expressing their gratitude to the city’s thriving aquaculture, particularly the bountiful harvest of bangus or milkfish.
The Bangus Festival was formally launched in 2002 by then-Mayor Benjamin Lim as a marketing tool for Dagupan’s bangus products.
Multiple stages were set up for the 13 local bands and individual performers who graced the event.
Some of the leading local bands that performed at Kalutan were I belong to the Zoo, Bandang Lapis, This Band, KMKZ, Rico Blanco, The Juans, Allmost, Banda ni Kleggy, Agsunta, Julian Trono and Ella Cruz, Pricetag X JP Bacallan, Jellie Aw, and Arra Gunio.
It was a street party all the way till the morning came. In the downtown area, people watched as seven bands alternated on providing live entertainment.
People seemed to have dearly missed the street dancing they had been doing every year during the Bangus Festival until it was cancelled in 2020 when the pandemic was declared. Last Saturday, people got the dance of their lives again. They danced even in the rain that night.
Meanwhile, those in other countries joined the celebration via live streaming on Facebook.
“Nakakamiss talaga ang Bangus Festival,” an overseas worker said on the comment section of the live streaming.
“Bangus Festival isang patunay na pagkakaisa ng mga Dagupenos," came another post on Facebook.
"Maraming salamat kay Mayor Inday Sara Duterte sa pagdalo upang pasinayaan ang pagbabalik ng Bangus Festival Kalutan ed Dalan," commented Tony Macob on the live streaming.
“I'm watching from Hongkong, dagupeño!! Happy bangus festival Dagupan,” said Princess Biay on the live streaming.
Mayor Brian Lim thanked the people of Dagupan for their participation in the Kalutan.